What an incredible day Tuesday was for all of us. I think I may have spent almost the entire day in conversations with so many people that I’ve lost count.
Playing this role of being on the receiving end is not a comfortable one for me. For most of my life I’ve played the other role. But I do get that now the time has come for me, perhaps for us, to play this role.
And I also think it’s time for me to reveal a little more about myself. There’s something that needs to be said and it requires a preamble. And that preamble takes the form of a share. So let me get right to it.
For a year in perhaps 2008, I lived with my 90-year-old father as his live-in caregiver. Then a series of events occurred – his health worsened, the government adjudged him qualified to receive payments he had been refused till then, and his need for caregiving went past my ability to supply or afford. In light of them, I needed to move out to make room for a more qualified person.
I moved out at age 62, I believe, and said to myself: “OK, I need to use this next leg of the journey to explore how bad things can get. I need to know this before I hit age 70 so I can see what I need to do between now and then to prepare for it. Supposing I don’t like what I find? I need to know that now and see what the future could be like.”
So I got in my car and I drove down into what is considered the seediest part of Vancouver. I said “Lord, you find me my next place.” And I took a room in what is called an SRO. SRO stands for “single-room occupancy,” a hotel or apartment building for people at the lowest end of the economic scale. I did it on purpose.
I live in a single room of perhaps 120 square feet. You can see it in the video. It’s there behind me. It costs $460 a month and I’m really very happy here.
The other men in the building are old or poor or want to save money. They’re my friends and some are readers of the blog.
I went from having a six-figure salary as a member of what is arguably the most prestigious Canadian tribunal to living in an SRO on Vancouver’s Skid Row. For many it was so abrupt a change that they doubted my sanity.
My family for instance was horror-struck. Some flew into action to try to dissuade me.
Why am I telling you this? Well, first of all, to dispel the rumor that we’re somehow living high off the hog on readers’ donations or some other source of revenue. Looking around me, listening to the man down the hall cry out words I’ll spare you hearing, I’m not sure I would call this high off the hog.
But I now prefer to live here. And I want to say more.
Several times in my life I received fairly large sums of money. Whenever I did, I usually gave them away.
This is not unusual. Two members of the Hope Chest have given away substantial amounts to the team. One gave away her entire, sizable fortune, such was her commitment to having the team stay together so people would have an outlet for Pre-NESARA funds.
I know the reason for my behavior. Part of the reason is where I come from, although I won’t discuss that in any detail and I ask anyone who knows a bit about that not to discuss it either. Part of that is past-life bleedthrough, although I won’t discuss that as well. Let’s just say that living this way is part of what I see as my mission. Perhaps that will suffice.
And if you were to offer me money personally rather than say for the team, I probably would not accept it. But I will accept it for the team. I acknowledge that many of you yesterday sent us money for the team and we are very grateful. We’re not out of the woods yet but we’re a lot closer.
I haven’t accepted any of what you sent for my personal needs, nor will I. Why will I not? Because I won’t permit there to be the slightest suspicion that I stand to benefit or have benefited personally from your kind donations.
And maybe I live this way to purchase for myself the right to say what follows. Maybe all that I’ve done in life – living only by what Providence gives me, giving away all that was excess to my needs, and living modestly all my life – is simply to purchase the felt right to say what follows, after which I’ve exhausted the merit I may have earned and am back again to being an empty bowl.
This is what cries out to be said: People, we need to begin taking care of each other. Are we our brother’s keeper, our sister’s keeper? Yes, we are. I am. And any lesson less than that is not a lesson I’m interested in learning.
We need to come out of all the years we’ve ignored each other’s needs. The time for remaining insular, the time for walking past those among us who are starving is over. It ended on Dec. 21, 2012, if it didn’t end centuries before. Millennia before.
Most people I’ve ever known I’ve always given money to. I hope I’ve earned the right to say: We must now begin to look around us and take care of those among us who are not making it. We need to take care of our brothers and sisters. The way that many of us have lived our lives up till now needs to end.
Love is the glue that holds society together. We need to take this society that has languished from a lack of love and turn our situation entirely around. And I can say this because I can challenge anyone to find in my life any instance of my having taken financial advantage of anyone or of having benefited from any source of revenue while another languished. I have not done so.
As far as I can see, it’s time. It’s time for us to love one another. It’s time for us to take care of one another. It’s more than just these concerns of the moment that are at stake here. It’s our emergence from our old ways of being into the new light of compassion, outreach and brotherly/sisterly love.